Bigleaf maple trees are renowned for their especially large leaves that can measure one to two feet in length. The tree's leaves turn brilliant shades of orange and yellow in the fall with one variety's leaves instead shifting to a vivid red. If your yard has moist soil and you're looking for an ornamental tree that can also provide some maple syrup, then the bigleaf maple tree could be a great addition to your landscaping for your home or business.
If you do have a bigleaf maple planted, there are a few diseases and insects to watch for as the tree ages, which is when the tree becomes more susceptible to threats.
The fungus-born disease verticillium wilt strikes the vascular system of the bigleaf maple. The disease takes hold in the soil around the tree then spreads up through the tree via the roots. Symptoms will start appearing during the growing season and include growth of smaller leaves than typical, premature yellowing of leaves, and leaf scorching, which is when the edges of leaves turn brown suddenly and wither.
Wilt strikes hardest in trees that have sections of old, damaged wood and in those cases might result in the tree's eventual death. If the tree shows signs of fatal wilt, your tree care service will likely recommend removing the tree completely along with the surrounding, infected soil.
Minor cases of wilt will likely clear up if the tree doesn't suffer any more damage before the next growing season. Make sure a tree trimming service prunes away any damaged branches as soon as the damage occurs to minimize the risk of wilt returning.
Carpenterworm grow up to be large moths but it's the larvae stage that can damage a bigleaf maple tree. The pests start as tiny gray-green eggs that are laid in clusters numbering into the hundreds. When the eggs hatch, the pinkish-brown larvae start to burrow into the heartwood for protection and a food source. This burrowing can significantly weaken sections of the tree or the entire tree itself, depending on the level of infestation.
Symptoms include general signs of dieback such as unseasonal yellowing of leaves, leaf dieback, and leaf scorching. The symptoms are easy to confuse for wilt or a tree care error so it's important to get a diagnosis once the symptoms present.
If you catch the infestation at the egg stage, call in a commercial pest control company for potential insecticide use or manual removal. If the pest has already reached larvae stage, the company might still be able to use control techniques to keep the damage to the tree at a minimum.
Roundheaded borers are similar to carpenterworms in that the larvae cause the most damage. The creamy white borer larvae don't have legs but rather travel inside the tree by sheer chewing power alone. Borer larvae are more likely to target unhealthy or dead tree material, which is easier to chew and destroy than healthy tree material.
If you suspect a roundheaded borer infestation, call in a pest control company to spray insecticide. Once the borers are under control, have your tree company prune away any dead or damaged branches to minimize the likelihood of another infestation.
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After living with a pest problem in our home for years, I kind of figured the bugs were there to stay. I had tried just about every kind of at-home treatment that I could think of, but nothing was working. It was frustrating, but I knew that there had to be something that could help. After failing for what seemed like the millionth time, I finally decided to work with a professional exterminator. The expert was incredibly proficient and knowledgeable about pest problems, and remarkably, he removed all of the pests from our house that day. This blog is all about working with a pro to eliminate pest problems.